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Retail fuel tax may start from January
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09:23, December 05, 2008

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China is likely to impose a retail fuel tax from January as part of its oil pricing reforms, according to a senior official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The official said the State Council has already approved the reform scheme proposed by the Commission.

"I personally think January 1 is a good time to introduce the fuel tax," said Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy director of NDRC, at a China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue meeting in Beijing yesterday.

This is the first time that a high-level official has indicated on the fuel tax timing.

Expectations are that China would revamp its oil pricing system by introducing a new fuel tax and lesser price controls as oil prices across the world have been falling.

Crude oil fell to $45 a barrel yesterday, down nearly 70 percent from a record high of $147.27 on July 11.

"If domestic oil prices are linked to global prices, then the government may stop the subsidies to big oil companies," he said.

A senior official with NDRC told China Daily on anonymity that the fuel tax reform scheme proposed by NDRC had finished seeking opinion from relevant interest groups. "The reform scheme will be published in a few days to elicit public feedback," the official said.

Source: China Daily

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